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Employment opportunities for young people toughest for 18 years - Turn2us

Trade Union Congress press release (link opens in a new window)The latest UK unemployment figures will be published today as the Trade Union Congress (TUC) warns that the job outlook for the young is at its toughest for 18 years.

In an analysis of employment and education trends over the last 20 years, the TUC has found that:

  • The proportion of young people neither working nor studying full time in 2012 remains close to record levels at 20.4% - the highest level since October 1994
  • 22% of 16-24 year od are currently unemployed compared to 16% in 1992
  • The proportion of young people in full-time education has nearly doubled from 24% in 1992 to 41% in 2012
  • Employment and education participation rates started to improve after 1994 and continued to rise until around the summer of 2001 when over 85% of young people were either working or studying.  However, young people's chances then started to slowly decline and then deteriorated sharply as the UK entered recession in 2008.  They have been at crisis levels ever since because of falling employment rates.

With 488,000 16-24 year olds currently out of work for at least six months - a figure that is rising even as overall unemployment falls - the TUC says that the country risks losing a generation of young people to unemployment and under-achievement before their careers have even begun. It is calling on the government to do more to tackle our youth jobs crisis by introducing a guarantee of training or paid employment for any young person out of work for at least six months, and a new youth credit to provide additional training and job seeking support.

Comment from TUC General Secretary

TUC General Secretary Brendan Barber said: 'Students looking to start their careers or continue in their education next month are facing the toughest climate for nearly 20 years.

'It's particularly worrying that long-term joblessness for young people is still rising, even as overall unemployment falls. If this continues we could lose a generation of talented and highly qualified youngsters to blighted careers, debt and under-achievement.

'Ministers should be doing everything they can to help young people but so far all they've done is cut vital financial support for college students and price people out of university. Jobs support has been scrapped, scaled back and then reinstated on the cheap. This is no sensible way to help young people into work or education.

'The government's economic strategy is holding young people back. It's time for a new plan that invests in their futures, rather than stunting careers before they've barely begun.'

Read the Trade Unions Congress press release on youth unemployment (link opens in a new window)

Read the Turn2us information section on benefits and young people

Source: BBC News (link opens in a new window)

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